Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 11

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


RUNNING BACKS
1. Andre Brown, Giants – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
Everyone knew Andre Brown would quickly take over feature back duties for the Giants. We just didn’t know it would be in his first game since November of 2012. Brown took advantage of an early Peyton Hillis fumble and gave the Giants run game some actual life, rushing 30 times for 115 yards with a touchdown and catching a four-yard pass. With David Wilson on IR and Hillis/Brandon Jacobs inept, there’s no competition here. Brown is the early-down, third-down and goal-line back for a team that will face the Packers, Cowboys and Redskins over the next three weeks. He’s a top-20 play for me.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Shane Vereen, Patriots – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
Nothing has changed since we discussed Vereen last week. Yes, Stevan Ridley is officially out of the doghouse and running like a beast. But that doesn’t change the way we should feel about Vereen’s potential impact as he’s expected to return this week. The two backs essentially play different positions, as evidenced by Brandon Bolden’s 45.0 percent of the snaps over the last five weeks. Vereen will soak up all those “passing back” reps, get a few base carries, line up out wide a few times and do some other Joker things. It’s going to add up to 10-14 touches for a very explosive player.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Rashad Jennings, Raiders – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
Darren McFadden’s hamstring aggravation had the look of a multi-week injury when it happened and we’ve seen nothing to suggest otherwise. It means the Rashad Jennings party will rock on. Over the last two weeks, he’s rushed 35 times for 190 yards (5.42 YPC) with one touchdown and added nine catches for 93 yards. That’s been enough to prompt coach Dennis Allen to say that Jennings has “earned more touches” going forward – even when McFadden gets back.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

4. Brian Leonard, Bucs – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Doug Martin (shoulder) is on injured reserve and Mike James is about to join him after fracturing his ankle. In Monday night’s win over the Dolphins, FB/RB Brian Leonard stepped in with 22 touches. He’s going to be in a timeshare with Bobby Rainey (nine touches) going forward, but Leonard is the one to own. He’s the one Greg Schiano knows/trusts from Rutgers, he’s the one that excels in pass protection and he’s the one that can take more of a pounding at 225 pounds. Think of this as a situation something similar to what we’ve seen in Arizona and Cincy this season -- Leonard in the Rashard Mendenhall/BJGE role, Rainey in the Andre Ellington/Gio Bernard role. We can project 8-12 carries and a handful of catches for Leonard going forward.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

5. Bernard Pierce, Ravens – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ray Rice just isn’t getting it done. Maybe it’s his hip, maybe it’s his offensive line or maybe he’s just exhausted after four straight seasons with 300+ touches. Rice has no lateral quicks anymore and is averaging 2.51 YPC. The ineptitude has led coach Jim Harbaugh to admit he’s willing to consider a “hot hand” situation in the backfield going forward. Rice will still start, but if Bernard Pierce can churn up some yards, he’ll get more work. The second-year back is talented enough to do just that.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

6. Bobby Rainey, Bucs – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
Bobby Rainey is clearly more explosive than Brian Leonard. But he goes just 5’8/205 and just joined the Bucs three weeks ago off waivers from the Browns. Yes a Browns team that is starting Willis McGahee cut Rainey. Although Rainey got a ton of fourth-quarter work and scored on a 1-yard touchdown Monday night, he’s more likely to be the change-of-pace option behind Leonard in this new committee. Expecting more than 6-9 touches per game is wishful thinking.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

7. Dennis Johnson, Texans – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
Arian Foster (back) is done for the year, Ben Tate is gutting it out through broken ribs and Cierre Wood was booted off the team. It’s left Dennis Johnson as the No. 2 man, with only the banged-up Tate in front of him. So even though he undrafted rookie out of Arkansas lacks special talent, he could be getting a major opportunity in an effective run scheme very soon.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

8. Shonn Greene, Titans – Owned in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
Sneaky owners used Shonn Greene as a plug-n-play against the Jags in Week 10, counting on a handful of goal-line chances. It didn’t happen that way as Jacksonville jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back. Still, owners should be encouraged that Greene still got nine carries and three catches. If the Titans can get lead against the Colts on Thursday night, he’ll get more work. And we know any goal-line chances will belong to Greene.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

9. Mark Ingram, Saints – Owned in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues
I’d be rare careful about chasing Mark Ingram’s 14 carries, 145 yards and one touchdown from Sunday night. First of all, the game was a blowout which allowed Ingram to get extended reps. Second, a leaky Cowboys defense was without stud MLB Sean Lee (hamstring) for much of the game and DeMarcus Ware (quad) was hobbled. Third, this was the best game of Ingram’s three-year career – in his previous 29 games he averaged 10.3 carries for 38.8 yards with 10 scores. And finally, the Saints will face the elite defenses of the 49ers, Seahawks and Panthers in three of the next four weeks. Add it all up and we have a desperation flex in non-PPR leagues only.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

Watch List: Jacquizz Rodgers, Montee Ball, Donald Brown, James StarksSteven Jackson is on his last legs. If the Falcons watch the tape, they’ll make it an even timeshare with Quizz. … Ball is clearly the No. 2 back and one of the game’s best lottery tickets. … Brown has thoroughly outplayed Trent Richardson ever since the trade. … Eddie Lacy has carried the ball 22 times or more in six straight games. Owners need to have Starks as a handcuff.

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Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan



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